Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sod the footie, Fidel's fit!

Tiger was just about to sulk his way through a couple of generous SB's when some top news flickered across the Muswell Hill radar (via terminal 4). A state-controlled newspaper in Cuba has published the first photographs of President Fidel Castro since he had surgery two weeks ago. The paper Juventud Rebelde also carried an 80th birthday message from President Castro, saying he was recovering but warning Cubans to be ready for "adverse news" - Thus predicting the result from the Millenium stadium!

He has not been seen since he handed power temporarily to his brother. Well, the test match has been on and you know the weather has been pretty good. Official birthday celebrations were cancelled but Havana held a giant concert on Saturday. (Despite the obvious disappointment of Fidel's non-appearance thankfully the crowd didn't have to suffer any of Razorshite, Radiohead, Babyshambles or Kasabian!)

The pictures released by the Juventud Rebelde newspaper show President Castro speaking on the phone and holding Saturday's edition of the Communist Party newspaper Granma, in a fairly cool move to show the pictures are current. From a style point of view he looked well natty in his Adidas Cuba tracksuit.

In his statement, President Castro said his health had improved considerably but cautioned that his recovery would not be quick, especially after a few more Cubra Libre's than the Doctor ordered.

"I ask you all to be optimistic and at the same time to be ready to face any adverse news," the statement said. It followed up with a four hour critique of Chelsea's somewhat lacklustre perfomance against Liverpool. The key issues were the brutal intimidation of Michael Ballack by the running dog lackeys of American imperialism and the real need for a decent left back.

He thanked Cubans for their loyal support and said that on the day of his birthday, 13 August, he "felt very happy with our pre-season form, despite todays reversal" but he warned against complacency.

In a report of a visit to the Cuban president's bedside, the paper suggested Mr Castro was "firm like a caguairan" - likening Cuba's revolutionary leader to a sturdy tropical hardwood tree. The paper also compared him to WG Grace and highlighted his career batting average of 100.00 as being bettered only by that of V.I.Lenin 122.25. No comment was made of his somewhat disappointing performance with the ball since 1996, when he shortened his run and experimented with what can only be described as dibby-dobby medium pace, albeit still producing the occasional wicket taking snorter!

Recounting the observations of a (made up by the western press) unidientified visitor, President Castro was said to be "up and about, like someone anticipating new victories". Quite obviously saving himself for the new premiership season.

Neither President Castro nor his brother, Geoff, have been seen in public for the past fortnight, fuelling speculation both in Cuba and in Florida, home to many Cuban exiles, about who is in charge. Well, Tiger thinks it is pretty obvious. Jose!

The BBC's Stephen Gibbs in Havana says Sunday's pictures are clearly aimed at conveying a message of continuity to the Cuban people. Well. Stephen Gibbs would say that wouldn't he - twat!

President Fidel Castro became Cuban president 47 years ago after leading the overthrow of American funded pimp Fulgencio Batista who was booted out of town like the snivelling Derby County fan that he was. President Castro is one of the world's longest-ruling leaders, has outlasted nine US presidents and it doesn't matter which team you support. You've got to admit that, that is cool!

Viva La revolucion! Up the blues! Long Live Fidel!

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